NHS Stay At Home Advice – and Ibruprofen

You are here:
< All Topics

You can find up to date NHS Advice on when you need to stay at home at:

This was updated yesterday (17th March) to include a statement on Ibruprofen:”There is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse.

  • But until we have more information, take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you.
  • If you are already taking ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on the advice of a doctor, do not stop taking it without checking first.”

(for more on the nuanced discussion on Ibruprofen see this from Fullfact:, which includes the following:

  • Dr Charlotte Warren-Gash, associate professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said that NSAIDs like ibuprofen “should be prescribed with caution for people who have underlying health conditions”. “For Covid-19, research is needed into the effects of specific NSAIDs among people with different underlying health conditions, which takes into account the severity of infection. In the meantime, for treating symptoms such as fever and sore throat, it seems sensible to stick to paracetamol as first choice.”
  • Dr Rupert Beale, group leader in cell biology of infection at The Francis Crick Institute, said: “There is good reason to avoid ibuprofen as it may exacerbate acute kidney injury brought on by any severe illness, including severe Covid-19 disease. “There isn’t yet any widely accepted additional reason to avoid it for Covid-19.”

Dr Charlotte Warren-Gash is one of several doctors and scientists who “have backed claims by France’s health minister that people showing symptoms of covid-19 should use paracetamol (acetaminophen) rather than ibuprofen, a drug they said might exacerbate the condition.” – reported in the British Medical Journal

Table of Contents